17

From his wiki page:

The beams have the appearance of red light (i.e., electromagnetic radiation in a red wavelength); however, they do not give off heat and instead deliver concussive force without recoil.

Considering that all photons exert a momentum change when they strike an object, Newton's laws insist that an equal and opposite change in momentum is required. Why is this not so?

  • Perhaps because there isn't sufficient resistance? What would happen if he used it against someone who isn't blown away by his blast? – Ivo Flipse Apr 4 '12 at 16:53
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    How the photons change the momentum of the object they strike is unrelated to the momentum change of the originating body. – AncientSwordRage Apr 4 '12 at 16:54
  • I think it has something to do with his ruby quartex visor. Since it absorbs all the radiation, and only shifting the prisms the visor is made with will release the energy. – OghmaOsiris Apr 4 '12 at 17:08
17

From the same article:

Cyclops' eyes contain inter-dimensional apertures, releasing powerful energies from another dimension into his own via the beams. These later accounts state that his body naturally metabolizes ambient energy that is used to open and focus the apertures in his eyes. The energy of the beam itself originates from this other dimension.

Further,

Cyclops' body is naturally immune to the beams' force

Since the beam originates from another dimension, then it's not necessary that there be any recoil at all, in our dimension. Any recoil could be absorbed within the extradimensional space. (Also, since his body is immune even to a direct strike we can suppose he might be immune to the recoil too).

  • 1
    With the loss of what could be purported to be a high volume of energy, one may wonder what the impact in that other dimension would be. – Josh Apr 4 '12 at 18:24
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    Now that's thinking with (eye) portals! – Tacroy Apr 4 '12 at 18:59
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    We nerds are a funny sort. Laser beams from your eyes are okay, but laser beams from your eyes with no recoil is absurd. But laser beams from your eyes from another dimension, with no recoil, is okay again. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Apr 4 '12 at 19:49
4

Cyclops' eyes contain inter-dimensional apertures, releasing powerful energies from another dimension into his own via the beams. His body naturally metabolizes ambient energy that is used to open and focus the apertures in his eyes. The energy of the beam itself originates from this other dimension. [source:wikipedia]

Theoretically, any recoil or force pushed back against the beams would affect this alternate dimension and not Cyclops himself. It is also possible that the optic blasts are subject to the physics of their home dimension and not the physics on Earth.

  • If you quote something from Wiki like you did here, you should enclose it in blockquote tags for clarity. – Mark Beadles Apr 4 '12 at 17:34
  • Why was this -1'd and not edited/sources questioned? – AncientSwordRage Apr 4 '12 at 18:01
  • Oops. Because I clicked the wrong answer to downvote. Rescinded. – Mark Beadles Apr 4 '12 at 18:15
  • Oooh +1 for the alternate physics for alternate dimensions. – AncientSwordRage Apr 4 '12 at 21:25
4

Per the Marvel Wiki article about Cyclops' visor:

The mask itself is made of high-impact cycolac plastic.

Cycolac plastic is an ABS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylonitrile_butadiene_styrene

ABS has great shock absorption properties...it is commonly used in golf clubs to reduce the reverberating impact when the club makes contact with the ball.

Most likely the ABS plastic absorbs the kickback of the blast. Also, I'd imagine that his own physical strength and familiarity with the kickback of his powers lends itself to allowing him to not fall on his butt everytime he shoots optic beams, similar to getting used to the kickback of a shotgun or magnum.

  • I knew it had to do with his visor! – OghmaOsiris Apr 4 '12 at 17:21
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    It can't be the visor, since when he's not wearing his visor he still doesn't experience recoil. – Mark Beadles Apr 4 '12 at 17:35

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